Let me first get this off my chest: I hate self-promotion. It’s not me. It causes me anxiety. That said, I think (read: I hope) I’m getting better at it, because this project is forcing me to do it endlessly.
At the outset, I had naively planned to just promote my film project, Rolling with Virgil, in some sort of a purist way on its merits alone, focusing on the story, the concept, the artwork, etc. I didn’t even think to put my own name on the flyers of which I printed thousands (he inwardly grumbles).
I’m learning, however, that while people can certainly appreciate and get behind ideas, it’s very often the human beings behind an idea that attract attention and evoke inspiration. It’s their dreams and motivations, it’s their backstory, and it’s their relatable humanity that we find it so easy to latch onto. Ergo, here’s my attempt at giving you a glimpse of that relatable human being behind the project. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have used the word “ergo” when trying to be more relatable, but it’s too late to go back now!
A question I keep getting is some form of: “What’s your aspiration for this film? What do you want it to accomplish? Why did you write it?” I’ve been avoiding answering this question completely truthfully until now. I’ve downplayed it, I suppose, because I was embarrassed. I naturally have this fear that my aspirations are too large, too pie-in-the-sky unrealistic, at least in the eyes of others, and I was afraid of being laughed at or thought ridiculous. Well, so what if I am? One benefit of endless and shameless promotion is simply that it has helped me lose my overcompensatory sense of shame. Case in point, I may have just made up the word “overcompensatory,” judging by the red squiggly line I'm seeing underneath it as I type, but I’ll be damned if I’m taking it out. It looks good to me.
The truth is, in my wildest dreams, I want for this film to change the very landscape of cinema. Of course, I’ll be ecstatic if the film gets made and a few people enjoy themselves and share meaningful experiences, but I also fantasize that Rolling with Virgil will resoundingly introduce this new genre I’ve coined, the Music Film, as a brand new and thrilling way to make movies and tell stories. I picture a day when I overhear people excitedly talking about the next music film coming out, who the band is, what the story is, etc as they walk by me on the street. I imagine a new cadre of writers, directors, cinematographers, etc building amazing careers in the style.
I even have desires for the music industry. I yearn for the times - times before I was even born - of The Beatles and The Who when an album seemed much more often to be a complete unit, painfully crafted like a musical novel, a magnum opus, that represented the band and it’s message as an experience rather than filling out the time between one or two catchy hit singles with merely listenable tracks in order to push out the product as fast as possible, thereby crushing the daring and experimental musical artists of today beneath the bulldozer of big business. I want Rolling with Virgil to introduce this new genre of film that leads the way and invites this type of album-writing and collaboration back into the mainstream again, only bigger and stronger than before.
So, laugh at me or not, that’s the real reason I wrote this film.